Western Province are in a tizz over the Lions’ loose-forward prowess and in an unprecedented move have decided to stock up with no less than three loosies on their reserves bench for Saturday’s Currie Cup clash at Ellis Park.
News 24 reports that WP coach Allister Coetzee fears that the much-vaunted Lions backrow trio of captain Cobus Grobbelaar, Franco van der Merwe and Willem Alberts could wreak havoc on Saturday and has taken precautions to counter that threat.
Coetzee on Thursday named Springbok hooker Schalk Brits at eighthman and he will be partnered by flankers AJ Venter and Francois Louw. However, Brits will still be doing the hooker’s throw-in chores at line-out time.
On the bench their back-up will come from Pieter Louw, Justin Melck and Nick Koster.
If WP still have problems trying to hold their own in the loose, they will have an option of moving AJ Venter to lock and then play with four loose-forwards.
“We (WP) don’t want go up against the Lions lacking in pace on attack and defence,” said Coetzee. “When the game opens up we may play with four loose forwards.
“It’s going to be a tough game and we have to have guys who are quick around the park to shut down their chasing lines.
“If there is an opportunity to run it (the ball) then we have the pace on the bench. I think we’re well covered, and what we’ve done just gives us more loose forward options. ”
WP flank Francois Louw also spoke about the Lions’ threat at the breakdown. “On Saturday we’ll see a great battle on the ground. They have some great ball stealers,” said Louw. “Their (the Lions) guys move the ball quickly on the ground so we’ll have to up our game in that regard.”Tweet